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Betula pendula (Silver birch)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
15m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20-50 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Betula pendula

Other names

Silver birch, Weeping birch, Lady of the woods, European white birch, Lady birch, Betula verrucosa, Bed wen, Warty birch, Birk tree, Common birch, Betula alba, Betula alba var. pendula

Genus

Betula Betula

Species

B. pendula - B. pendula is a vigorous, narrowly conical, deciduous tree with white, peeling bark, cracked and black at the base with age. Slender, drooping stems bear ovate to diamond-shaped, toothed, mid-green leaves and yellow-brown flower catkins in spring.


Betula pendula is: Deciduous

Tree shape

Narrowly conical, Open branched

Flower

Yellow-brown in Spring

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies , Sawflies Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies , Sawflies

Leaf spot , Birch rust Leaf spot , Birch rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Softwood cuttings, Seed


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Where to grow

Betula pendula (Silver birch) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Woodland, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Grows a wide range of conditions and soil types.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Betula pendula

Other names

Silver birch, Weeping birch, Lady of the woods, European white birch, Lady birch, Betula verrucosa, Bed wen, Warty birch, Birk tree, Common birch, Betula alba, Betula alba var. pendula

Genus

Betula Betula

Species

B. pendula - B. pendula is a vigorous, narrowly conical, deciduous tree with white, peeling bark, cracked and black at the base with age. Slender, drooping stems bear ovate to diamond-shaped, toothed, mid-green leaves and yellow-brown flower catkins in spring.

Foliage

Deciduous

Tree shape

Narrowly conical, Open branched


Colour

Flower

Yellow-brown in Spring

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Yellow in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Aphids , Leaf-mining sawflies , Sawflies

Specific diseases

Leaf spot , Birch rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Softwood cuttings, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Betula pendula (Silver birch) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20-50 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Woodland, Low Maintenance, Wildlife

Cultivation

Grows a wide range of conditions and soil types.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Betula pendula (Silver birch)

Common pest name

Bronze birch borer

Scientific pest name

Agrilus anxius

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

5

General biosecurity comments

Recognised as a significant threat to birch but EU regulation should help to mitigate the threat.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Betula pendula (Silver birch)

Common pest name

Asian longhorn beetle; Starry sky beetle

Scientific pest name

Anoplophora glabripennis

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Recognised threat to a wide range of deciduous tress native to the UK. Already regulated it is a priority for continued surveillance and statutory action. The risk of entry is further mitigated by EU legislation requiring the monitoring of wooden packaging material originating from China.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Betula pendula (Silver birch)

Common pest name

Japanese long scale; Japanese maple scale; Long scale; Japanese; Pear white scale

Scientific pest name

Lopholeucaspis japonica

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Regulated only on Citrus at present; regulation on other hosts needs to be considered. Only likely to be a pest under glass in UK.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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silver birches

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Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

silver birch betula pendula

Hi I have just bought this ornamental variety and wondered if it is ok to plant it amongst smaller shrubs, like japonicas, rhododendrons etc? Thanks read more

This plant is featured at Chelsea Flower Show 2009

Betula pendula (Silver birch) has been used in The HESCO Garden by Leeds City Council for Chelsea Flower Show 2009. read more

Betula pendula

In the wild, it is a pioneer species, often associated with newly disturbed ground and open areas. The open habit of silver birch produces a light dappled shade in sunlight, allowing a range of… read more

There are 10 active discussions about Betula pendula (Silver birch)

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